Morning Brief 1.21.20: WeChat Pay gets green light in Indonesia

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:

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Indonesia's central bank has cleared WeChat Pay to operate in Indonesia, giving formal clearance after WeChat was reportedly operating in a limited form without a license.

The move follows WeChat entering a partnership with Bank CIMB Niaga, reports The Jakarta Post. CIMB will be the acquirer of record, and will process payments. The Post reports WeChat had been providing services to Chinese travelers in Indonesia, which was illegal, though WeChat has not been penalized.

The central bank recently introduced a national QR code to support digital payments, a system similar to India's UPI national digital transaction rail.

Crime fighting

PayPal will track suspected financial transactions as part of an anti-human trafficking initiative. Polaris will collaborate with PayPal to identify red flag payments, reports Reuters.

Polaris operates the national Human Trafficking Hotline, and will form a financial intelligence unit with PayPal and donated funds from outside parties.

The unit will research proactive ways to spot financial transactions that signal potential trafficking or related crimes.

On the go

Dubai digital financial services apps OG Pay and OG Wallet will launch a suite of automated payments and financial services, initially in the U.K. and Germany, with other markets to follow.

The sister apps will use technology from Bankable, which offers API-based financial services support, to enable chat-based e-commerce payments and mobile point of sale, among other services.

Bankable also recently entered into a technology-sharing partnership with API provider Plaid, which is awaiting acquisition by Visa.

Guilty plea

Reginald Fowler pled guilty in New York to operating a money transmission business without a license.

Fowler, a former co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, worked with Crypto Capital, which provided payment processing for Bitfinex, Quadriga and CEX.io. Crypto Capital in late 2019 was linked to financial fraud, reports Coindesk.

Fowler was accused of helping the scheme avoid KYC and AML rules, Coindesk explains. He faces up to five years in prison.

From the Web

Exclusive: China's Ant aims for $200 billion price tag in private share sales - sources
REUTERS | Fri January 17, 2020
Alibaba affiliate Ant, which had an implied valuation of $150 billion during a 2018 fundraising, is preparing to step up plans for eventually going public in Hong Kong and mainland China, three other sources told Reuters. Speculation has grown that Ant, the world’s largest so-called “unicorn” — a newly-formed unlisted tech firm valued at $1 billion or more — is working toward an IPO this year.

Monzo bank 'freezing accounts for no apparent reason'
THE GUARDIAN | Sat January 18, 2020
Resolver, the independent online complaints resolution service, this week told Guardian Money it had received more than 700 complaints in a little over a year about Monzo, which it describes as a surprising number for a relatively new business. In a third of those cases, its users are specifically saying that their account has been frozen or shut down.

DBS launches business-to-business payments via QR code
THE STRAITS TIMES | Mon January 20, 2020
Quick response (QR) code-based solution by DBS Bank has been rolled out to enable instant payments through the bank’s fund transfer service PayNow and help business owners who still largely deal in cash and cheques pay their vendors or suppliers more quickly. This includes the food and beverage (F&B) industry – comprising nearly 28,000 coffee shops, hawker centres and restaurants – where nearly nine in 10 payments among businesses are still made using cash or bank transfers, DBS said on Monday.

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